Reporting, investigations and court

We work hard to protect you, but we couldn’t bring offenders to justice without your help – so thank you for coming forward. Reporting incidents to the police could prevent further crimes being committed and protect others from becoming victims by giving us the opportunity to investigate the crime and potentially solve it.

We use information you provide to study crime trends, and if we can identify patterns, we can work towards resolving it perhaps by targeting certain areas at relevant times.  

You can report a crime by calling 101 to speak to Lincolnshire Police, calling 999 in an emergency, completing an online form on our website, or by calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

How will it be investigated?

Every crime will have its own set of circumstances, so investigations will vary.

For all crime reports we will carry out an initial ‘investigative assessment’ to review all of the information we've gathered and decide whether to investigate further. We will take into consideration the vulnerability of the victim; severity of the offence; likelihood it can be solved; and the most effective use of resources.

Our investigation will be thorough, and could include:

  • Interviewing witnesses
  • Assessing the scene
  • Looking at available CCTV or video footage
  • Forensic evaluation of physical evidence
  • Online evidence
  • Searching our intelligence database

Victim and/or witnesses may also be asked to give a statement which can be a written or video-recorded account of what happened. Your statement will play an important role in bringing offenders to justice. Victims also have the option of making a victim personal statement (VPS).  This is a chance for you to state how the crime affected you.  Read more on making a victim personal statement.

We will keep victims informed about the investigation and provide updates as the case progresses, but remember that our goal is to bring criminals to justice, so operational and tactical decisions on suspects, locations, or other investigative elements will sometimes need to be kept confidential to the officers involved.

Victims will receive a crime reference number within 36 hours of the initial investigation – this is the reference number assigned to the crime and is how we file the details of investigation, so it helps to keep hold of it.

At the end of the investigation, we will let you know within five working days of the suspect being:

  • We will arrest and charge a suspect. Depending on the severity of the crime, they may be released on bail or remanded into custody. They will need to attend court to answer the charges against them.
  • We will caution, reprimand, give a final warning, or a penalty notice a suspect. This is an official warning which can be taken into account if the suspect appears in court again in the following three years.
  • No further action. This will happen if there is not enough evidence to charge or caution a suspect.

You’ll get this information within one working day if you’ve been the victim of a serious crime, repeatedly targeted, or are intimidated or vulnerable.

What happens if the case goes to court?

If a suspect is charged, they will appear at court. If you have given a statement as a victim or witness you may have to give evidence in to court. 

If the case does go to court, you can expect us to:

  • Carry out a full needs assessment if you have to give evidence
  • Inform you of the court date within one day of being notified ourselves
  • Answer any queries you may have
  • Notify you within four days if the suspect failed to appear in court

Our Witness Care Unit will guide you through the court process, keeping you updated on the case as well as providing support and guidance.

Read more on the Victim Lincs website

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26 Mar 21 8:21 AM

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